Practice Notes & Quotes 10-11-02

G – Rimando, Hoffard (Charleston Battery – A-League)
D – Reyes, McKinley, Pope
M – Etcheverry, Convey, Williams, Olsen, Alegria, Quintinilla, Mapp, Swinehart (Charlotte Eagle – A-League), Broder (Atlanta Silverbacks – A-League)
F – Lassiter, Curtis, Quaranta

Apparently there was a note-worthy scrap between players on Tuesday’s practice. No details were given.

It is possible that the “old Moreno” came out of his closet for this week’s practice. He along with Quaranta, fired several goals throughout the week. Today Moreno scored several times, both power and touch, during the inter squad scrimmage.

Obviously the players that are going to England are anxious to get underway. Likewise, those that are being left behind due to money limits or injuries are bummed that they can’t make the trip.

Practice started out “normal.” As the team did their warm up laps Moreno bulldogged Reyes down onto the ground . . . into the wet . . . the only muddy puddle available.

The team will return next Friday and resume practices on Monday, October 21st.

Asst Coach John Trask
What are the goals for the trip to England?
“Hopefully some of the things we’ve done here in the off-season will carry over in the match. It’s going to be intense for a lot of our players who are coming off the season. We’re not going to be as match fit as they (Tottenham) are, but we are looking to have a good run. It should be a fun game, more a friendly game and not that intensity where people are attacking and tackling over the top of balls I just think it’s going to be a great day for DC United and the league. MLS can show off some of it talent.”

Even though it’s a friendly, are you look at specific players to see if their mental attitude, their intensity, has improved from last season?
“Definitely! . . . Definitely! I think Ray Hudson is going to be watching with a sharp eye to see how some guys have come along. It’s going to be great. Santino will be back, we didn’t have him at the end of the season. Jaime is moving very well. We’re nursing a couple of injuries. Other than that, the guys seem to be in great spirits, and really looking forward to getting on the plane tomorrow morning.”

Are you going to be able to judge the improvement in the younger players?
“Yeah, I think definitely. You look at Santino, and you look at Bobby, those two kids had a chance to play against Bayer Leverkusen last year, and if you look at the tape of that game, and even if it’s not being played like a World Cup match, there’s still quality and a pride factor for any player when they’re on the pitch when they’re at that level. Hopefully we can get Justin Mapp in and give him a run and see how he does with the speed of play. That’s going to be the biggest thing. I think the speed of play when you watch the English Premier League on TV, that’s where they are more advanced than we are. And that’s what separates players at the highest levels. That’s what makes guys capable of playing for Bruce (Arena) on the National Team rather than just playing for their MLS team, which players can play at that speed and focus for long periods of time.

Are you happy with the level of progress of the team since the end of the regular season?
“Yes. I’ve been with the team since we started up again. We included a strength and conditioning coach, Greg Petrosian, who has been doing some great work with the guys, and it seems to be paying off. I don’t think we’re 90-minutes match fit like we would be in the season, games provide that. But, considering our training environment, and what the guys have put into it, I think we’re going to put in a good showing over there. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it for the players. Players thrive in an environment where it’s competitive. The quality is out there and training has been good for the last two weeks, and I think it will carry over to England, and we’ll show some very good things. Whether we can sustain it for 90-minutes, I’m not sure of that.”

Obviously the game will showcase DCUnited players to EPL scouts. On the other hand, are you and Coach Hudson looking at any Tottenham players, or the invited players?
“One nice thing about all the players who have come in to train with us, from Paul Dalglish to Paul Gascgoine, have told us point blank that this is a club where they’d like to be. So I think that speaks volumes of DC United and the tradition, and what people think of the club. And I guess the way Ray approaches the game that players are excited to play for him. ‘Gazza’ speaks all the time about wanting to come over and play for DC United, and we’re hearing that a lot out of players over there, which is a great sign.”
“I think the main thing Ray is doing right now is identifying what the market can bear for certain players right now. I don’t think he’s identified any one or two players right now. He and Dave Kasper, the technical director, are taking a look and seeing what’s out there because the landscape across Western Europe, and South America, for that matter, has completely changed because of the economics. And there are players today that would be available for the beginning of our season that were not around a year or two ago on the present day dollars MLS has to spend.”

Bryan Namoff
You are in an awkward position because you belong to two teams. Do you expect that to change next year?
“Yes, I was on loan to Richmond, but now I’m back. So, that was it. I believed that . . . I’m here until whether or not I stay here, or I get traded.”

Are you going to demand that that situation changes? Would you accept being on the Reserve Squad again?
“Yeah, I’m not going to do that again. I’m not going to go back and forth because it’s just too taxing. Your loyalties are split . . . you’re on two different teams and that’s not how it should work.”

Do you have a preference between starting in Richmond, or your role with DCUnited?
“I like playing down there playing defensive midfield, and getting 90-minutes a game. In that sense I liked it. But no, I’d like to be in MLS at the highest level.

What are you going to talk about with Coach Hudson about the situation?
“Basically find out if I’m in his future. If I’m not . . . then I need to look at other options.

Would that include possibly asking for a trade within MLS?
“Yeah, because I want to stay at the highest level.

What plans do you have for off-season training? Anything overseas?
“It’s in the works. They are trying to get me over somewhere. I know that John Trask is pushing to get me in the Project 40 trip. I think it’s going to Germany. I think that would be a great opportunity for me just to go over there and play in other countries.”

What are you working on personally in the off-season?
“If they see me as a defender – I’ve never played there until this year, not having trained there, not knowing where to go tactically – I have to watch a lot of games. I have to learn where to go tactically and positioning – right position at the right time – things like that.”

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